This week: The Empress of India at Veronica Fish & Oyster
The drink: Bourbon, blackberry, vanilla and star anise. The flavors hit you in waves, with just a hint of sweet-tart blackberry and bourbon up front, then warm vanilla and then the subtle licorice of the star anise lingers way behind everything. It's complex and lovely, a cocktail that insists you take your time with it.
The bar: The Caragiulo's/Owen's Fish Camp/Shore team's foray into Southside Village, Veronica has the same charmingly curated style, in this case a subtly maritime rustic-chic kind of vibe. The marble bar with fixed-in-place padded stools, refreshingly sans televisions, has already become a popular neighborhood hangout.
Food: Boy howdy. In addition to a vast selection of fresh raw oysters and flavorful crudo, the small plates selection is almost too much to choose from. (We went with wood-roasted oysters with uni butter and leek confit, and a side of fries with amazing malt vinegar aioli.)
Other notable potables: The Autumn (cinnamon apple pear vodka and ginger beer) is a refreshing ode to the season. Veronica also serves a rum runner on tap, which is both sweet and powerful.